Dr Michał Krotoszyński
Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań
English abstract: During the last four years the situation in Poland has been a matter of interest to the worldwide legal community mostly due to the constitutional crisis. Yet, the years 2015–2019 were also a time of a revival of transitional justice measures, such as cleansing the public sphere of communist symbols, remodelling of lustration law, and further reduction of pensions of communist secret service employees and officers. In this paper I argue that these spheres are interconnected and that Poland’s constitutional crisis has a transitional justice dimension. I start with an overview of retrospective instruments dealing with the communist past introduced in the last four years. Next, I turn to the constitutional crisis itself, discussing its possible explanations and transitional justice aspects. In the end I claim that the dramatic constitutional backsliding that Poland has recently experienced can be explained not only as a power grab, but also as a result of the tension between the rule of law and the principle of individual responsibility on one hand – and the resort to collective accountability in an attempt to get what the government sees as justice on the other.
Keywords: transitional justice, lustration, decommunization, Poland’s constitutional crisis, Polish Supreme Court, rule of law, sincerity principle
Published: Number 3(21)/2019, pp. 22-39.
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